To the geeks who work at ThinkGeek.com and the geeks who shop there,
Thank you. My name is Tashi, and I'm a geek. I'm also married to one, I call him Wash. When we met, it was our mutual love of the geeky and nerdy that led us to know we needed to be together. When we moved in together we laughed at the duplicates and triplicate copies of Firefly, LotR (books and films), Whedon series, Dr. Who, and so many Science-Fiction authors. As our love grew so too did our collections of geek memorabilia.
Just a few months into our marriage the world changed and my husband suffered a series of seizures caused by an apple sized tumor pressing on his brain. He was only 25 when he underwent two brain surgeries to remove the tumor. A month later he started on a year of chemotherapy and radiation. Most patients with his cancer, Glioblastoma Multiforme, live only 9-15 months after surgery with treatment. That was 2 years ago.
My husband is now 27. I became his full time caregiver when I was just 23. To say it has been tough would be quite the understatement. We have battled insurance denials and cancellations along with the horrid side effects of brain cancer and chemotherapy. Throughout it all though, my husband has retained his sense of humor and more importantly to him, his sense of being a Browncoat. He knows he is in a fight he will not win- this cancer kills 99% of patients, most in under 3 years. If we are lucky, he might live another 1-3. He knows the hard facts, and yet every day he wakes up and fights to live. He wakes up, and some days he can run. Some days he can walk. Some days he has to crawl, and the really bad days he knows he has friends to
This past fall has been hard on him. He has been having more physical issues from the brain damage. There have been a lot of bad days. We've had time to catch up on some of his favorite series (Fringe, Warehouse 13, Eureka, BSG, Big Bang Theory, Dr. Who, Dollhouse, Castle and more) since he spends so much time resting in bed. One of the hardest side effects we have to deal with is the fatigue; as such a young man he is not used to being bed bound, so anything that keeps his brain working in good humor without being too physically taxing is priceless to us.
We are geeks. We, of course, read the ThinkGeek catalog. We like to spend time on the webpage looking at the cool toys and gadgets. It is something that brings him such joy, just to see what is out there. We are always short on money, because he cannot work, I am an unpaid caregiver, and his medical costs are astronomical, but whenever we can, we try to treat each other to ThinkGeek stuff.
About a week ago I was contacted by one of your PR employees. He informed me that your company knew of us and our hardships and wanted to help give us some cheer for the holidays. The cheer came yesterday, in the form of a number of lovely gifts.
For some people, such gifts would warrant a thank you, and that would be enough. For us, though, a simple thank you does not cover it. Not only were we able to now "present" gifts to each other, there was plenty to share with some of our family, friends, and even a "cute" Neuron plushie that we will be giving to Wash's Neuro-Oncologist. The material things that we received from ThinkGeek were wonderful. Far more than the actual items, though, is something that is truly priceless. Wash does not have many Christmases left, if any, and to be able to give and receive fun, quirky presents, to be able to spend Christmas without the cloud of brain cancer hovering over us, is something that we could not have expected and cannot possibly express sufficient gratitude for.
I am enclosing some photographs of us enjoying the bounty and our kitties enjoying their new "Cats Attack!" scratching post. We have so much appreciation for your company. This action epitomizes for me what our geek culture stands for; unity and community. My husband has a rare cancer for his age, but he does not feel "alone". He is part of something so much bigger and you have helped to show that. You see your customers as people first, and that is a rare commodity these days.
For making my husband and myself so happy, thank you. Not only do you create wonderful and unique products, you are a company with a generous, giving heart..
With so much appreciation from fellow Geeks,
Tashi and Kevin "Wash" Pratt-King